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August 29, 2010

New Sony Alpha A33 makes history as one of the first two pellicle-mirror DSLRs/DSLTs

After years and years and years of traditional SLR mirrors, dSLRs have now added some diversity with Sony's two new pellicle-mirror DSLRs, the Alpha A55 and A33. Just like other Sony announcements, including their littermates A580/A560, the two cameras come in pairs. There are more differences however between the A55 and the A33 than between the A580 and the A560, with the sensor (16mp vs 14mp), 10fps (A55) vs 7fps (A33), deeper buffer (the A55 can record almost 3X as many RAW, 2X as many JPEGs), higher ISO (A55) and built-in GPS (A55 only).

The pellicle mirror (Sony prefers to call translucent mirror technology) allows for the light to go both to the imaging sensor and the autofocusing system, without the need of moving the mirror out of the way. This allows for uninterrupted parallel operation of both systems. But it's not a bed of roses - the camera loses the OVF (optical viewfinder) and has an EVF (electronic viewfinder). See the previews and specs below for more on all these.

One more thing - Sony is embracing the "SLT" name, with "T" standing for Translucent, instead of "R" for Reflex in traditional DSLRs and Duran-Duran songs.

Hands-on, previews and samples
+ Imaging Resource
+ studio test samples including RAW files (.ARW) at Imaging Resource
+ two video clips at Engadget
+ hands-on at ephotozone
+ Ultra-brief text-only hands on in Sony dpreview forum
+ nine full size samples at Let's Go

Virtual Demo of Sony SLT features
+ virtual demos of phase-detection AF during movie recording, high-speed AF detection, LCD display movement, and Auto-ADR at Imaging Insider (see links that open the Flash-based demos)

Announcement/Press release
+ Specs in PDF file at (see via dpreview forums)
+ Bob Atkins
+ Imaging Insider
+ Sony Insider
+ Trusted Reviews
+ Alpha Tracks

+ Old technology returns and a lot more at Enticing the Light
+ On pellicle mirrors at CNet Asia

Pre-orders accepted
B&H Photo is accepting pre-orders for the A33 body-only for $650 and the A33 w/18-55mm for $750.

Videos after the jump...

Sony Introduces Translucent Mirror Technology with the SLT-A33 DSLR from Imaging Insider on Vimeo.

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